Ovarian tissue cryopreservation is the key step towards the establishment of an ovarian tissue bank or the preservation of ovarian tissue for patients scheduled for gonadotoxic cancer therapies, aiming for fertility restoration later on. Conventional cryopreservation, or slow freezing, has been the mainstay of ovarian tissue cryopreservation. Vitrification has recently emerged as a new trend for biological specimen preservation. It has shown increasing success over slow freezing, especially with oocytes, which is mainly attributed to avoiding ice formation. Much research is underway to investigate the application of vitrification to ovarian tissue. Ovarian tissue vitrification may have specific challenges and requirements that differ from single cell or oocyte vitrification. The medical literature was searched for studies on ovarian tissue vitrification using the keywords: ovary, ovarian tissue, transplantation, vitrification, cryopreservation, and freezing. After authors agreement, relevant citations were analyzed. Thirty studies reported the ovarian tissue vitrification of 11 species, using different vitrification methods and different outcome measures. The vitrification of ovarian tissue is a promising alternative to slow freezing. However, proper ovarian tissue preparation and the specific method of vitrification are both key factors that determine the viability and functionality of preserved tissue in other applications, notably transplantation.
Keywords: Ovarian tissue, oocyte, cryopreservation, vitrification, transplantation, fertility preservation, gonadotoxic cancer therapies, ice formation, embryo cryopreservation, menstrual cycle, fertilization, mosaic Turner syndrome, ovarian failure, autotransplantation, microvascular anastomosis, orthotopic transplantation, chemotherapy-induced amenorrhea, OOCYTE CRYOBIOLOGY, Cryotop method, Primordial follicles, ischemic damage, dimethyl sulfoxide, ethylene glycol, Sugimoto's trial, folliculogenesi, DMSO, vitrified canine ovaries, estradiol, progesterone, cumulus-oocyte complexes, porcine ovarian, needle-immersion vitrification, apoptosis, bovine ovarian tissue, L-glutamine, transmission electron microscopy, Probability of vitrification, polyethylene glycol, Solid surface vitrification, direct cover vitrification, Ohio-Cryo method, ovarian cortical tissue, capillary fibrosis, vascular thrombosis
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